Commonwealth Railway

Last updated
Commonwealth Railway, Inc.
Commonwealth Railway logo.png
Overview
Headquarters Suffolk, VA
Reporting mark CWRY
Locale Suffolk, VA to Portsmouth, VA
Dates of operationAugust 1989present
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge

The Commonwealth Railway, Inc.( reporting mark CWRY) is a Class III short-line railroad operating 16.5 miles (26.6 km) of track of a former Norfolk, Franklin and Danville Railway line from Suffolk, Virginia, to Portsmouth, Virginia. The main office is in the Wilroy area of Suffolk. Commonwealth Railway is owned by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. and is a part of Norfolk Southern's "Thoroughbred Shortline Program". It interchanges with Norfolk Southern in Suffolk.

An important industry on the line was the BASF Chemical plant in the West Norfolk area of Portsmouth. The plant was usually switched by locomotive #444, a GP16 class locomotive rebuilt by Seaboard Coast Line Railroad in the early 1980s. The main locomotive was #517, a CF7 rebuild of an EMD F7 performed by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in the 1970s.

The BASF plant closed in 2007 and was subsequently demolished. A small chemical company remains on the site. [1]

Another important industry is APM Terminals, which is a modern shipping container port in Portsmouth along the Elizabeth River. This port was leased by Maersk to the Virginia Port Authority in late 2010. Commonwealth Railway is the only rail line to access the port. Another port is planned for Craney Island; however, as of 2020 the port is still in the planning stage and has not been constructed.

With the opening of this new container port, two EMD SW1500 switch engines were added to the roster. To handle the container traffic to and from the port, the Commonwealth Railway line through the city of Portsmouth has been realigned down the medians of I-664 and SR 164, at a cost of $60 million. A small marshaling yard was built in the Baileytown area of Suffolk. Double-stack container service started in December 2010. A second phase, paid for by $9 million in federal stimulus funding, will further improve port access and is expected to be completed in September 2011. [2]

The Commonwealth Railway had two GP20 locomotives numbered 2090 and 2091 which were sold in 2019 to Larry's Truck & Electric (LTEX) in McDonald, Ohio. By 2020 the Commonwealth Railway operated only one locomotive, an EMD GP15-1 numbered 1424, leased from LTEX. [3] The company's remaining EMD SW1500, No. 1551, is leased to the International Paper Company in Franklin, Virginia. [4]

Related Research Articles

Norfolk Southern Railway American Class I railway

The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I freight railroad in the United States, and is the current name of the former Southern Railway. With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the company operates 19,420 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and has rights in Canada over the Albany to Montréal route of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and previously on CN from Buffalo to St. Thomas. NS is responsible for maintaining 28,400 miles (45,700 km), with the remainder being operated under trackage rights from other parties responsible for maintenance. The most common commodity hauled on the railway is coal from mines in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The railway also offers the largest intermodal network in eastern North America.

EMD GP30 model of American 2250 hp diesel locomotive

The EMD GP30 is a 2,250 hp (1,680 kW) four-axle road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division of La Grange, Illinois between July 1961 and November 1963. A total of 948 units were built for railroads in the United States and Canada, including 40 cabless B units for the Union Pacific Railroad.

New York and Atlantic Railway

The New York and Atlantic Railway (NY&A) is a short line railroad formed in 1997 to provide freight service over the tracks of the Long Island Rail Road, a public commuter rail agency which had decided to privatize its freight operations. An affiliate of the Anacostia and Pacific Company, NY&A operates exclusively on Long Island, New York and is connected to the mainland via CSX's line over the Hell Gate Bridge. It also interchanges with New York New Jersey Rail's car float at the 65th Street Yard and US Rail of New York in Yaphank, New York. Its primary freight yard is Fresh Pond Junction in Queens. The NY&A officially took over Long Island Rail Road's freight operations on May 11, 1997. The initial franchise was for 20 years.

EMD SW1

The EMD SW1 is a 600-horsepower (450 kW) diesel-electric switcher locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Corporation between December 1938 and November 1953. Final assembly was at EMD's plant at LaGrange (McCook) Illinois. The SW1 was the second generation of 3,402 cu in (55.75 L) switcher from EMD, succeeding the SC and SW. The most significant change from those earlier models was the use of an engine of EMD's own design, the then-new 567 engine, here in 600 hp (450 kW) V6 form. 661 locomotives of this design were built, no SW1s were built after March 1943 until production started again in September 1945.

EMD SW1200 model of 1200 hp American diesel switcher

An EMD SW1200 is a diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between January 1954 and May 1966. Power is provided by an EMD 567C 12-cylinder engine which generates 1,200 hp (895 kW). Late SW1200s built in 1966 were built with the 567E 12-cylinder engine. Additional SW1200 production was completed by General Motors Diesel in Ontario, Canada, between September 1955 and June 1964.

EMD GP40 model of 1221 North American 3000hp Bo′Bo′ diesel-electric locomotives

The GP40 is a 4-axle diesel-electric road-switcher locomotive built by General Motors, Electro-Motive Division between November 1965 and December 1971. It has an EMD 645E3 16-cylinder engine generating 3,000 hp (2,240 kW).

Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway

The Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway is a short-line railroad which is headquartered in LaFayette, Georgia, USA. The railroad operated 22 miles (35 km) of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Kensington, Georgia, which reverted to the Norfolk Southern System and was partially removed after the Dow Reichhold Specialty Latex LLC plant in Kensington closed in August 2008. The "C&C" also operates 42 miles (68 km) of the former Central of Georgia Railroad from Chattanooga to Lyerly, Georgia. That line is leased from the state of Georgia.

Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad

The Norfolk and Portsmouth Belt Line Railroad is a class III railroad operating in southern Virginia.

Willamette Valley Railway

The Willamette Valley Railway is a short-line railroad that operates in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. It leased a line from Woodburn to Stayton from the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in February 1993, as well as a branch from Geer west to Salem, and purchased the property in 1996. The company also leased a line between Albany and Mill City in 1993, but transferred the lease to the Albany and Eastern Railroad in October 2000.

EMD GP16

The EMD GP16 are a series of rebuilt road switcher diesel-electric locomotives, a result of a remanufacturing program initiated by the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (SCL) in an effort to spare the cost of purchasing new motive power in the late 1970s. This involved the rebuilding of their aging fleet of EMD GP7, GP9, and GP18 road switchers. 155 locomotives were rebuilt by the SCL.

Georgia Central Railway

The Georgia Central Railway operates about 174 miles (280 km) of former Seaboard Coast Line track from Macon, Georgia through Dublin, Georgia and Vidalia, Georgia to Savannah, Georgia. It also operates about 20 miles (32 km) of trackage between Savannah and Riceboro, Georgia, switching Interstate Paper LLC. It connects with CSX Transportation and the Norfolk Southern Railway. The Georgia Central Railway is owned by Rail Link, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

The Sandersville Railroad was originally operated from Tennille, Georgia, to Sandersville, Georgia and chartered in 1893 as a subsidiary of the Central of Georgia Railroad.

New Orleans Public Belt Railroad

The New Orleans Public Belt Railroad is a Class III railroad, and a subsidiary of the Port of New Orleans. It connects with six Class I railroads serving the city, and provides switching and haulage service. It is estimated that one-third of the United States' east-west rail freight crosses the Mississippi on the Huey P. Long Bridge segment of the railroad.

Bay Coast Railroad

The Bay Coast Railroad operated the former Eastern Shore Railroad line from Pocomoke City, Maryland, to Norfolk, Virginia. The Bay Coast Railroad interchanged with the Norfolk Southern Railway at Norfolk, Virginia and the Delmarva Central Railroad at Pocomoke City, Maryland. Following the lease of 162 miles of Norfolk Southern track on the Delmarva peninsula by the Delmarva Central Railroad in December 2016, the interchange changed from NS to the DCR.

The Greenville and Western Railway is a Class III railroad that operates 12.74 miles (20.50 km) from a point south of Belton to Pelzer, South Carolina. Connections are made with Pickens Railway at Belton and CSX at Pelzer. The railroad is a subsidiary of Western Carolina Railway Service Corporation.

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is an autonomous agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia that owns The Port of Virginia, a group of facilities with their activity centered on the harbor of Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Soo Line locomotives

Included in this list of Soo Line locomotives are those of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, as well as those of the Wisconsin Central Railway, which it inherited on its lease in 1909. The M.St.P.&S.Ste.M. finally merged the WC and the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway on December 30, 1961 to form the Soo Line Railroad.

Lake State Railway

Lake State Railway is a railroad operating in the Saginaw Valley and northeastern quadrant of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The railroad moves large quantities of aggregate and limestone, as well as coal, grain, and chemical products. Some of the company's largest customers include Dow Chemical Company, S. C. Johnson & Son, Lafarge, ConAgra Foods, Archer Daniels Midland, Conrad Yelvington Distributors, and Consumers Energy.

Squaw Creek Southern Railroad

The Squaw Creek Southern Railroad is a Class III railroad subsidiary of Respondek Railroad operating in the southern portion of the State of Indiana. Originally, the Squaw Creek Southern started operating 21 miles of former Yankeetown Dock Corporation/Peabody Coal trackage owned by Norfolk Southern, but has since started servicing Foresight Energy's Sitran Coal Terminal near Evansville, Indiana and SABIC's Innovative Plastics plant in Mount Vernon, Indiana.

Launched in 2012, The Aiken Railway is a Short Line Railroad operating 19 miles of track leased from Norfolk Southern in Southwestern South Carolina, in the United States. The leased track consists of 12.45 miles between Warrenville and Oakwood, SC, and 6.45 miles between Aiken and Seclay, SC. The Aiken Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Carolina Railway Service Corporation which also owns the Greenville & Western Railway.

References

  1. https://www.pilotonline.com/inside-business/vp-ib-brownfield-sale-0120-20200115-pomqwcvg2rhjpk7cskpx2o3ptq-story.html
  2. "New Commonwealth Railway line set to open". Trn.trains.com. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/Locopicture.aspx?id=80437
  4. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=3155887
  5. Georgia Central Railway